12v & 120v Electrical

I'll start by saying I'm not a professional electrician and this is not professional advice on how to put power in your camper.

Our 12v system is separate from the 120v system. I do not have a 12v inverter or a charger on the 120v. That may change in the future, but for now this works great for us. The 12v system powers lights and USB chargers and consists of a 130watt solar panel and a single 100 amp hour AGM battery. The lights in the trailer are incredibly low draw and will outlast the night even if we charge a couple phones. The solar charger can easily recharge the battery. On a cloudy day we are typically over 13 v with solar. That said, we will probably add a battery and maybe another panel as we look at longer trips.

The 120v system consists of a 30amp exterior connection run into a small 2 circuit (20a each) panel in the trailer. We have 1 GFCI outlet we use for the AC, and 3 normal outlets for everything else. We can charge phones, run our small fridge and any other small electronics we have on a trip. We use a small generator to power the fridge/AC when we are offgrid, and so far that works well. When we are not in the warm summer months, we leave the AC and generator at home and just use a cooler for food. This allows us to keep the weight down.. more batteries would be nice, but they are heavy. 

Both systems are simple and inexpensive (hundreds vs thousands of dollars). We have a basic solar charger with an inexpensive panel and after a year of use in all kinds of weather and climates it's been great. 

Power diagram

12v and 120v Systems


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